In recent versions of AutoCAD Map and Civil 3D, you have the ability to drag and drop ESRI .SHP (shape) files into your drawing editor. This method is extremely fast and in most cases a better solution as opposed to using the MAPIMPORT command. If you need to annotate the shape file with any of the attached data then for speed this method wins hands down, period.
There is one potential downside however. The FDO Map annotation are special dynamic entities and not regular AutoCAD text/mtext. You cannot use traditional AutoCAD commands to move, resize, scale, or edit this annotation in any way. What if you need true AutoCAD text or mtext instead of this Map Annotation? Read more about AutoCAD Map FDO Annotation to AutoCAD text
Many moons ago in the AutoCAD world, when you received a command prompt instead of an expected dialog box, you could check the system variables FILEDIA and CMDDIA and make sure they were set to 1. Over the years, CMDDIA has all but been phased out in AutoCAD, although FILEDIA (for FILE DIAlogs) does still apply. Here is a related post on this.
Once upon a time, it was reported that the Autodesk assistance program which provides free software and training for "veteran or unemployed individual who has...previously worked in the architecture, engineering, design or manufacturing industries" was going to expire in January 2011.
At last check, there does not seem to be an expiration date for this program
The Autodesk Assistance Program provides FREE versions of the latest software, and free Autodesk product training. Click on the link below for important DETAILS.
If you have Civil 3D 2011 and need to import raster images like MrSid and ECW format (who doesn't?), then you will need the Raster Design Object Enabler since there is no Raster Design 2011 yet. But wait, there is no Raster Design Object Enabler for 2011 either. Oops.
Fortunately, someone figured out how to hack the 2010 RD Object Enabler so that it will work with Civil 3D 2011, and the resident MAP guru, Murph himself, posted the solution over a month ago (AutoCAD Map 2011 needs this hack too...). Since the 2010 version works for 2011, I'm not sure why Autodesk has not written an installer for it. IMO, support for these image types should be built into Civil 3D and Map anyway.
I do not have any information on when to expect a 2011 version of Raster Design or the RD Object Enabler.
The Autodesk Assistance Program provides FREE 2011 version software, online and classroom training, software certification, and discounts on retail versions of software. Click on the link below for important DETAILS.
If you are importing ESRI SHP files that contain closed objects using the MAPIMPORT command, and you end up with filled MPOLYGON objects instead of plain old closed polylines, read on....
First, you can instruct MAP to import closed polylines instead of MPOLYGONs by running the MAPUSEMPOLYGON command and setting the value to OFF. If you do want MPOLYGON entities, but you don't want them filled, run the POLYDISPLAY command and choose Edges only. Be sure to REGEN after running this command.